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Razor Burn or nicks/Cuts?

You can shave without cuts and irritation, but it takes some practice with new tools.

If you only shave once per week, you will need very good beard prep, good lather, a good sharp blade and minimal pressure to avoid irritation. Pay close attention to the angle on the Henson since it is different than most other razors. Use short strokes. Make sure you always have lather wherever the razor is contacting the skin. Try not to go over any area too many times.
Thanks for all the tips everyone! My shave this week was much better, very little irritation (and the irritation was caused by reverting to old habits). I adjusted my angle with the Henson, applied no pressure and got a nice close shave in two passes (re-applying shaving cream in between).

I'm amazed I've been able to shave so aggressively with my Merkur 34C for so long with relatively few issues. But I definitely prefer the shave that the Henson gives, now that I understand better how to use it.
For me, irritation is almost always the blade or not going in the direction of hair growth. Cuts are rare, and small, even with the R41, I think they're mostly caused by technique and pressure.
So glad to hear things are going better, @binarylegit! Re-applying lather between each pass surely helps. Plus my favorite part of shaving is lathering, so more time doing that is better! Here's to more good shaves in your future!
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